Following on the announcement of an increase in the prices of some liquors during the recent budget presentation, promoters say they will have to absorb the additional expenses.
In the budget presentation by Minister of Finance and Planning Hon Dr Peter Phillips, he announced that there would be a change in the Special Consumption Tax (SCT) regime as it relates to overproof rum. So, as opposed to the 30 per cent ad valorem SCT that was imposed in 2010, a specific SCT rate of $960 per litre of pure alcohol will be imposed on overproof rum, effective today (June 1).
In The Sunday Gleaner, J.Wray & Nephew Limited placed an advertisement stating that the retail price for a drink of J.Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum will go up by no more than $20 at the bar.
It was somewhat of a sudden announcement, but promoters say they will have to take on the additional costs.
One of the promoters of events like Igloo and Absinthe, Dwayne Dacres, says: "It will have an impact, especially on those who do all-inclusive events, because people don't want to pay a dollar more than what they normally pay. So we would have to absorb the cost. Some people can't move their prices, because of the people they cater to."
But he says the price of liquor is not the only factor that determines what it will cost patrons to attend a party. Instead, he says, production cost, advertisement and sponsorship also play major roles in deciding ticket prices.
With events such as Wet Sundaze, Pretty in Pink and Euphoria under his belt, Darren Virtue says he will have to find creative ways to deal with the increases so that both patrons and the event benefit.
"With over 10 years of experience in the business, I know the importance of putting our patrons first. Thus, with this tax increase, we will be meeting to discuss ways, with the ultimate goal of finding the best solution to keep prices as reasonable as possible for our loyal patrons," he told THE weekend STAR.
Dark Entertainment's Ron Burke, one of the promoters of Twisted Spiritz that takes place this weekend, noted that liquor prices have been increasing over the years while the cost to attend parties remained the same.
"I know they need taxes, but it's going to be a challenge. Chances are, we are going to absorb that. We are trying to see if we can keep all our prices the same, at least until the end of the year," he said.
For events that have already been planned, promoter Ibrabim Konteh says the prices for these events will remain constant, but an eventual increase might be required.
"It would definitely affect us as promoters, in terms of what we would charge. You have to look at charging more. Your greatest expense is your bar bill, especially if you are having a drink-inclusive event, or, find creative ways to keep the budget tight. We have to look at creative ways to cut down on expenditure so that it makes sense for the patrons and promoters," said Konteh, who will be hosting eVe on June 30.